Stephen Smellie, Unison South Lanarkshire and Peace in Kurdistan Patron, is currently on a delegation to Diyarbakir to meet with local officials and learn about the democratic autonomy project and the struggle for self-determination. You can read his observations in his blog.

Stephen Smellie

Today our delegation met with one of the co-Mayors of Diyarbakir and the General Secretary of GABB (a association of municipalities in the Kurdish region of Turkey- known to Kurds as Northern Kurdistan). They both explained that the refugee problem in the region was serious. They were looking after thousands of Yazidis from Iraq who had fled from ISIS attacks into Kurdish Rojova in Syria and the across the border to Turkey and Northern Kurdistan.

The Kurdish municipalities and local Kurdish people had responded with generosity to house the Yazisi refugees in camps with little support from the Turkish government.

This was then followed by the huge numbers of refugees from Kobane as ISIS laid siege to the Kurdish town on the Syria /Turkey border. Again the local Kurdish authorities and the people have responded with generosity whilst the Turkish state has been slow at providing the resources needed.


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